Truth, Lies, and Internet Dating

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Truth, Lies, and Internet Dating
8
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 10:00pm
I've been thinking about this a lot in my own life and with riskitgirl's worry about meeting someone else who she's compatible with, I just wanted to get some feedback on the wheres and hows you all meet people. I know the stock answers. I've taken classes. Two straight years of academic ones along with all of the hobby oriented ones that have dotted my horizons over the last couple of years. I got something out of every one of them, but I didn't really expand my circle of friends any.

I've also tried the online dating which seems to work wonders for some people, but I find is too likely to end up with me going out with someone who "looks good on paper" but who I'm not attracted to. As I was discussing with my good friend, Cher, life is not a movie. I don't know anyone who's met the love of their life fighting over gloves at Bloomingdale's, or who bumped into one another because they were so transfixed by the same painting at MOMA, or who picked the same awning to hide under during a rainstorm.

So, how do you all who are in the "open market" meet people (of either gender, because really the whole thing is about expanding your circle of friends, right?) and those of you who are thankful to be off the dating rollercoaster, what were your best tricks back in the day?

~Artie...who is d@mned tired of first dates

Avatar for mamma2my3sons
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 11:20pm
(warning LONG!!) TRACTOR AUCTION today was replete with men!& aside from the eye candy, I (dh actually!)picked up a kewl circa 50's Allis Chalmer (LOL!) Try taking a stroll through Walmart's hunting & fishing dept. or check out the local livestock auction house. Baaa, MOO, oink! Not into country you say? don't knock it 'till you try grabbing that saddle by the horn ;-)

Just saw the movie Sweet Home Alabama & loved it, it portrays country life pretty accurately!

My history of meeting men:

I met my first serious beau when I was a 18 & working as a valet (parking cars) at a Miami Beach condominium. (I had just moved to Miami alone from small town New Jersey!)

I met my second serious beau while I was playing pool with a girlfriend in a Ft.Lauderdale sports bar.

I met my current husband through some acquaintances, he happened to be with the group of us all hanging out.

I met plenty of guys in between. Usually not deliberately. Yes I met one at Winn-dixie! apparently I smiled as I passed him & he followed me outside. Was a notoriously fast driver,have had about 3 policemen pull me over & ask me out. Had guys come over to me in restaurants a few times & admire my blue eyes!LOL I remember one incident where I was having a tiff with a beau. When he got up to go to the bathroom, the waiter at the restaurant came over to ask me to dump him & go out with him! LOL!Though I loved to dance & met LOTS of guys at clubs, I rarely dated those, felt like it was just a "scene" & not my thing.Just loved to dance. Met a nice guy on jury duty once.I was dating someone, he actually tracked my Mother down months later to try to get my home number! I met another guy on a plane from Ireland. Had an FBI agent ask me out when I was questioned for being the next customer in line after someone had used a stolen credit card! Met another guy actually he was trying to meet me(while my dh was in paying!)at a gas station after a visit to the beach. Met some guys through friends, acquaintances at work (I worked ICU)ie temporary staff members, a resident. My sons stockbroker asked me out too. I met some at the art museum member openings. (since you mentioned the MOMA, had art exhibited there as a child by the way!-supposedly talented children from the local schools & all that! LOL)

Some of this sounds like a brag but honestly its all true and there are lots more stories I won't bore you with.Point being that you CAN meet men anywhere. I think they usually approach you if they're interested. I've dated lots of guys, only had a few serious relationships though.

Great question!I'm curious to see what everyone else posts too! It was fun going down memory lane! good luck!

Barbara : )

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 12:02am
I treat every social situation as a potential way to meet people or get fixed up by people - perfect example - tonight was at a friend's birthday dinner sitting next to one of his female friends who I have only met once before, but who I have heard a lot about. She just looked at me and started asking what I'm looking for in a man - and then said that she has a few people in mind - just like that. I find if I spread myself very thin among people who I have things in common with, there's more of a chance of my meeting someone - what I don't do is jump all over new people with "do you know anyone??" - I will mention I'm single and looking but I stay mellow. The best ways I've heard of in the last few years is meeting through sports - tennis, etc., marathons, and touch football - also, club med . . . (been there 5 times since 1990). Best of luck to you!!
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 3:03am
Sweetie, I grew up country, and unlike Melanie (Snooter) Carmichael, I ain't goin' back!

Thanks for your tips, some of them were really funny to imagine. I'm usually too teary over getting a ticket for the officer to notice my baby blues. Of course, I haven't been pulled over in five years. It's funny. I went out with some friends tonight to dance because, like you, I just love to do it. On occasion I'll go out by myself because no one else likes to go to the cheesy eighties club I like so much. But I had so many guys hit on me, and I was like "eww, get away. I'm out with friends." So, I'm starting to see that I may be the problem. ;-)

Your hunting/fishing at Wal Mart idea was actually pretty good, unfortunately, having been scarred for life by the dead things my dad made my mom hang on the wall, I'm hoping I don't end up with a hunter. Although, your brain rarely tells your heart what to do with any success. I suppose if killing helpless creatures for sport (and meat...I'm not a hypocrite. I like the stuff. I just don't want to kill it myself) comes out after I've lost my head over someone it can be worked with. I haven't disowned my dad yet.

Anyway, thanks for playing.

~Artie

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:27am
Title: Umm...yeah, you are...and I believe this is the case for most women who wonder "why can't I meet a guy"...

"On occasion I'll go out by myself because no one else likes to go to the cheesy eighties club I like so much. But I had so many guys hit on me, and I was like "eww, get away. I'm out with friends." So, I'm starting to see that I may be the problem. ;-)"

Well see, there you go. You've met DOZENS of guys probably, possibly including "Mr. Right", but you just weren't open to them (at the time anyway).

I am personally convinced that this is the case for virtually ALL decent looking women in decent sized towns / cities under the age of 30...and when I rad your FIRST post, having met you and deemed you at minimum "decent looking", I knew it ws the case for you. This follow up posts only confirmed what I knew...you don't have a problem meeting men...

Instead...

"As I was discussing with my good friend, Cher, life is not a movie. I don't know anyone who's met the love of their life fighting over gloves at Bloomingdale's, or who bumped into one another because they were so transfixed by the same painting at MOMA, or who picked the same awning to hide under during a rainstorm."

Yet, I believe that is exactly what many women are waiting on. They think that life IS a movie (even while their rational mind will swear otherwise), and thus they have in mind what sort of guy (meaning what he will look like and sound like...not with utter precision, but they fixate on a "type") they want to / are willing to meet, and they fixate on the circumstances (not meaning it has to be at Bloomie's...but not being open to ALL possibilities...like at an 80's club..."eww, get away. I'm out with friends." indeed).

When I was in my 20's married, and thus off the market, I had no sympathy whatsoever for such women, because I knew that their desperate cries of "why can't I meet a man" were without merit. What they REALLY were saying is "why can't I meet the man of my dreams?".

Fortuately (evil grin here...I can't help myself...lol) the table turns on women in their early to mid 30's, and we guys get the upper hand (grin gettign wider...lol). The social pressure to marry, along with the biological pressure to have kids (even if you consciously are deciding not to, you can't deny the hormonal urges...) force women to their sense, and the playing fiedl evens out. You (ladies) don't have to become desperate per say (though some do...I'm convinced that those are the ones who are still waiting to meet the man of their dreams, and thus become DESPERATE to make it happen), but you become rational.

How would you behave if you were looking for anything else BESIDES a man? You'd ask people about it...you'd put some effort into it. Every time you came across one, you'd give it more than a cursory look to see if it was suitable. You wouldn't necessarily have to buy soemthing that you DIDN'T want, but you would be far more open to exploring the possibilities ("hmmm....this isn't exactly the dress I ws looking for...but it is awful nice...and it does flatter my figure....").

As Deena conveyed, that is the attitude that gets you dates. Without putting out a shingle, you can be more approachable, you can be more open minded, you can let friends and family know where your head is at, and you can help other females out with YOUR friends and, ahem, not-quite-the-right-fits.

This is how it seemed to go for me during my post divorce 30 something single days. No, it wasn't raining women, but it seemed pretty much every female I was fairly close acquintances with was willing to fix me up with a friend, or a relative. These women were looking out for each other. I met "L" thru a friend (and old board alphabet woman in my past) and you could argue I met GG thru a friend as well (old board memeber "Prairedog"..who was the first board reg I met...or was it Cher?...anyway...she connected GG and I, after explaining to me GG's sheenanigans on the board).

Another thing that I believe happens for women in their 30's is they tighten their focus on what is really important in a mate. For example, while certainly you wouldn't want to spends loads of time with someone you didn't care for, or couldn't seem to communicate with at all...this notion of "connection" is vastly, vastly overrated. You have gone on record that you have felt a great "connection" before with somoene...someone who it turns out was not right for you. I think "connection" is rooted in a number of things that might make for good friendships...things like similar childhoods, or levels of intelligence, or political views. And, yes, some people are just better communicators...more empathetic...they "connect" better with everyone...not just that "someone special". But I don't think these things are the REAL basis for a relationship, nor a measure of how successful such a relatonship will be. GG and I didn't "connect" well at first when we met (versus the numerous and lengthy phone calls). We are different people...we grew up differently, in different countries for heaven's sake. But, the things that ARE important came to light over time....and with time we learned how to connect...because we grew closer, and our desire to meet the other person's needs grew stronger. I think 30 something women "get that"...they have a short list of what is really important in a mate...values...vision of the future...along with some personal threshold of attractiveness...and they go on the premise that anyone who meets that criteria is worht going out with a couple times, just to see what can been seen.

Which leads to the last problem. You said in your opening posts that you were tired of first dates. THAT one, while I can certainly sympathize, is something trhat I have no solution for. Ya gotta have "at bats". If you limit the at bats, I am CONVINCED you limit your chance of meeting the right person. Thinking that by simply being more discerning up front you will improve the odds in my opinion will only make things worse...because there is SO MUCH about a person you can't possibly learn in those first 3 minutes of "hey, how YOU doin"? that in my opinion, unless they do something that really flags them as bad news (for example, grabbing a boob while asking your name...ok, it doesn't even have to be THAT bad...) you should remain open minded. For example, I'm actually shy around strangers...I have a problem meeting people...and I am uncomfortable in social situations with strangers (a real problem for "T", who was always looking to go to the next party...). You'd never know it, would you? You'd probably think me pretty gregarious and charming...and I am...with people I know. My point being...we meet...and I come across as the "quiet type"...and you think "oh, he is too reserved for me.."....you'd be wrong.

In closing...while understanding that you are tired of first dates...I seem to recall that you once posted that you'd go out with anybody who'd have the guts to ask. I thought this was a great attitude at the time, and I think it still applies...except you have to do it with an OPEN MIND. Don't rule out guys when they say "hello"....and don't rule them out after the first date because you don't feel a "connection". I say date as many guys as your schedule allows IN PARRALLEL...until one of them gives you reason to STOP going out with him (I'm not suggesting you have to give all the world's creeps a chance...so when a guy starts to creep you out, drop him)...or...one guy gives you a reason to stop going out with all the rest of them. :-)

Heck, you aren't my type...you're blonde...you're younger than I'd really consider dating. And I don't think we'd ultimately make a match. But...you're attractive, intelligent, interesting, funny, and accomplished. I'd be a fool to not welcome you're approach, or not accept any invitation to get to know you better. But...being a guy, and not a woman...I don't / can't assume another woman is going to just fall into my lap. So, I have to give all realistic candidates a shot.

I'm convinced if women thought more like that...like men...even while keeping their clothes on and delaying exclustvity...they'd be a lot happier when it came to dating.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:32am
Honey, I'm a red-head!

A lot of what you said made sense, and I do still have that philosophy about going out with anyone who gets up the guts to ask. I'm just not going to date someone I meet in a bar. There's alcohol involved. People don't behave like themselves. And I'm not sure if you've ever seen the kind of guys who make it a habit of hitting on girls in bars, but its not a pretty sight. Case in point, I got tired of dancing to the shallow techno the club was playing so I left my friends and sat down for a minute. No sooner had I done it than a drunk guy old enough to be my father leaned over me and started talking in my ear. I tried to be polit for a few moments, but he just seemed to take that as encouragement. So, I scurried back to my friends. In any case, some nights aren't about meeting guys. They're about being with friends, and I don't think anything is wrong with that.

I stumbled over J, literally, and though we royally screwed things up I'm not sure it was absolutely because we were "wrong" for each other. Timing had a lot to do with it as did maturity. When I say connection, I define it in these terms which were what I had with him. He was my best friend, lover, biggest supporter, test audience, and for a while there my home away from home. And of course, we loved each other. I realize it didn't start out that way. He was hot, and we had great sex. I'm just saying I had that before with someone I could talk to about things. And that's my main criteria. Could I tolerate you touching me? And can I talk to you about more than the sports scores?

When I'm looking for a dress or a new pair of shoes, of course I try on lots of different ones. But they all have one thing in common before they ever touch my body. I like the way they look or they don't even come into the dressing room or off the shelf. Now, once I get a closer look, I may realize that the understated one indeed does make my butt look nice and the one I really liked is a bit much, but I liked 'em both before I even tried 'em on. Attraction is so important to me. I have male friends that I have everything else on the list except for attraction. That's why they're friends. Before I get flamed, it doesn't have to be a universal attractiveness. I just have to find them attractive. And sometimes it's more personality than anything. A is adorable, but not nearly the type that I usually date, but his charm and sense of humor are so wonderful that he keeps me laughing all the time, even though I don't get to see him much. That quality made him one of the sexiest guys I ever went out with.

You can definitely point out paths from the other side because you've been on the other side, but really not knowing me or the number of atrocious dates my "date anyone" policy has wrought in the last year I'm not sure you can correctly toss me in with your disdained 20-somethings destined for desperation.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 5:31pm
Twice so far on different threads, I have typed up a nice thoughtful response, only to lose it. I think I'm not hitting the second "post" button or something. Anyway, this was one of the response that got lost.

The gist, is that I agree with GoGo. Can you sum up everything you are to a potential person in 50 words or less? 100? That why I found posting ads on the internet frustrating. Most times, the ad reflected my mood at the moment. Silly, happy, sullen, curious, thoughtful... I'm so much more than my mood at a given moment...

I agree with the openess and "at bats" as well. However, my personal life never worked like that. I think I've had less than 1 dozen "first dates", that never developed into more. I'm probaly stretching it by saying "1 dozen".

When I was looking for someone new, I'd keep my eyes open. If I saw someone I liked, I would flirt and wait to see if they flirted back. If they didn't, it went no where. If they did, we flirted for quite a while, until I decided there was something there worth pursuing. Then we would have a "talk", and if that went well, I'd ask them out. So before I ever went on the first date, I already new quite a bit about them and how compatible we are. At least on the surface.

Brokk...

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 5:48pm
Yes, Exactly!

It just seemed as though that happened a lot during undergrad. I think it was because of the number of parties we went to, though. I hardly ever go to parties where I don't already know everyone there anymore. I'm not sure when the big switch happened.

Your post reminded me of a guy I met in college. I can't remember his name. He was the bass player in a band with my friend Randall, and he used to come to all of our parties. I wasn't quite the tearing it up all night type and neither was he, so we usually ended up in the corner somewhere talking about the craziest things. I'm not sure why we never went out. Perhaps he was shy and never got up the nerve to ask me, and I'm so clueless about guys I usually assume they're just being nice to me instead of that they're interested. But I haven't been in a situation like that in a long time. J and I met at a party actually and had a four hour conversation before we ever went out for the first time.

I think part of the problem is that I spend about 80% of my time in my apartment either working or doing school work and the other 20% with my friends who I hardly ever get to see. Maybe after May when I graduate and get settled somewhere, I'll be able to devote myself to a writing group and a few athletic hobbies and just expand my circle of friends.

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 10:11pm
I can't say it enough that I am the biggest fan of internet dating. Now it takes a process to get it down, but I met my wife on-line and had more dates with smart, beautiful, fun people. Now don't get me wrong, I've met a few that lied about who they were...but my ex-wife lied about who she was, and we met out at a dance club...so you'll get the bad with the good, you just need to know how to go about figuring out if the person you start conversing with is shooting straight or not.

It's not as scarry as people think. I never did the chat board thing, I went to user-groups and boards where people with interests conversed, then I'd send an e-mail to someone who really seemed to have their stuff going on, or vice versa, and before you knew it, we'd meet for coffee or lunch. The world is a lot smaller with the internet.

Curtis